Wednesday, July 24, 2013

JLA #31 "Going Home" Afterward

Well, what did you think?
Every time I re-read this issue I notice something different. Usually I just get caught up in the proceedings; I like how the Hawks have called the emergency meeting to drop their bombshell announcement. (I have to admit I took that bit from JUSTICE LEAGUE #109, the issue where Hawkman leaves the JLA.) Then before you can even catch your breath the nefarious Dr. Light attacks Batman and the adventure starts in earnest. It helps when you work with good material. 

As I mentioned in the Forward, I liked these adventures because I was able to give every character something exciting to do. If you were to re-read the story right now, which character do you think gets the least amount of screen time? It's probably Superman or Elongated Man, who are both knocked out pretty quickly, but they atleast do have scenes they can claim as theirs, right? 

Before I talk about some of the scenes that I liked, I want to say that I didn't think I did Dr. Light's spectrum death trap justice. It just didn't look right, and as I was drawing and then coloring it I was struck by its stupidity. It looked more impressive with art by Dick Dillin, I guess. 

Now I have to tell you the secret origin of this story, even if it is somewhat embarrassing. From 1987 to 2001 I lived and worked in a small Japanese town as their local English teacher and international relations planner. After ten years there I started wanting a long-term contract and more responsibilities. I was basically the hired help, but as I was getting older I wanted to spend more time planning events and less time out playing with kindergarten children. I was about 36 years old at the time. So I had several conversations with my bosses (my direct supervisor, the superintendent of education, and the mayor) asking for a better situation. Also, my direct supervisor was an agricultural man who had been named Education Head due to politics. I was told that when the then-current superintendent retired I would have better luck with his successor. (I was actually hired in by his predecessor, and was never a big priority for him while he was in charge.) Well, in 2000 he retired and was replaced direct supervisor, who was promoted to take the position. When that happened, I knew I was leaving. 

So it struck me as a good idea to write a "good-bye" to the entire English class world. I decided to have Hawkman and Hawkwoman be "re-called" to their home planet and to voice MY reasons for MY leaving.
Re-read the following words in my voice and see if it makes more sense now...

In fact, if you go back and re-read all of the comments by or about the Hawks, odds are that they are based on my situation. For example, I knew I would have to make speeches at my various going away parties. So I thought about what I wanted to say about or to certain people, and came up with Shayera's words to Diana, shown here..

Now with Hawkman and Green Arrow, instead of my personal situation I used what I knew about their mainstream comics situation and worked on it...This is the first (and only) time that Green Arrow ever called Hawkman by his first name in my series, and also the only time Katar called GA "Ollie."  I don't think my readers "got" this scene, but I enjoyed it.
And here is probably my favorite panel in the whole story: Red Tornado quoting The Tin Man from "The Wizard of OZ." I was proud of how I was making Red Tornado into a "real" character and not a Johnny One Note who cried about how he wasn't human, boo hoo. I had introduced his girl-friend Kathy and his adopted daughter Traya, so I figured that he had enough self-confidence to remain on Earth (One) and to remain as a JLAer. With this I hoped to write a nice enough conclusion to the Saga of Red Tornado.
And with a scene of Shayera dissolving into tears as Katar bites his lip trying not to lose his composure, the Hawks are gone....and so is my series. It was a fun ride. I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. You know, you've GOTTA bring back your JLA sometime soon! :)

  2. Only one thing didn't ring true to me. When GA says he's sorry. I've never heard a liberal admit to a conservative that he was wrong. :)

    Is this why the Hawks don't fit into "our" story...because they left???

  3. Rick, you're a funny guy. :-)

    The Hawks are in your story. When the JLA comes back, the Hawks eventually come back, too.